Big Brother Ready To Watch More Than Animals

Chuck Zimmerman

We’ve been hearing a lot about animal id. It’s not a new issue, although the debate about a mandatory national animal id program is certainly cranking up with the release last week by Sec. of Ag Johanns’ “thinking paper.” Just what the heck is a thinking paper anyway? Could somebody define that? You’ve gotta love the language that comes out of Washington, DC.

NAIS Image

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2005–Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today unveiled a thinking paper and timeline on the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) and called on agriculture producers, leaders, and industry partners to provide feedback. Both documents are available on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s NAIS Web site at and will be published in the Federal Register.

Here’s an example of how what happens in Washington has an impact on agrimarketing. You’ve got all these companies, organizations and state and federal agencies creating and marketing their versions of an id program. What ultimately gets decided in Washington and turned into law will directly affect them. Maybe their system doesn’t meet the requirements for example.

But even beyond the impact a legislated animal id program will have on the companies and organizations who market the products and services that will implement such a program is a bigger question in my mind.

If you’ve participated in any farmer discussion on this topic you know a big concern is information privacy. How much of it are we willing to give up to become “safer?” We’re being told a system like this is necessary to prevent or contain disease outbreaks which will surely happen. To properly implement it though a lot of new information will potentially be put into the hands of government. But it’s only animals you say. Wrong. Read on.

Are you familiar with the Real ID Act? You should be. It passed the House this week in Washington. One of the goals of this bill is to make it more difficult for illegal aliens to obtain a driver’s license. Sounds good on the surface. It’s all in the name of safety after all. But look at a little segment from the bill:

(b) Minimum Document Requirements- To meet the requirements of this section, a State shall include, at a minimum, the following information and features on each driver’s license and identification card issued to a person by the State:

(1) The person’s full legal name.
(2) The person’s date of birth.
(3) The person’s gender.
(4) The person’s driver’s license or identification card number.
(5) A digital photograph of the person.
(6) The person’s address of principle residence.
(7) The person’s signature.
(8) Physical security features designed to prevent tampering, counterfeiting, or duplication of the document for fraudulent purposes.
(9) A common machine-readable technology, with defined minimum data elements.

The key phrase is “common machine-readable technology.” That could very well be RFID chips! I’m sure the Department of Homeland Security will have some input on this. This is from House Bill H.R. 418, which is now going to the senate and President, where it’s expected to pass, possibly this week.

States are required by the law to make sure all their data is released to the federal government. There are provisions to allow for federal funding to states to help implement the new requirements within 3 years.

Although I can see many uses for this in animals besides just safety issues, I’m not real excited about this for us humans. I certainly don’t want one hanging from my ear!

What do you think? I’d love to see your comments.


American Angus Welcomes Groshans

Chuck Zimmerman

When you include pictures it has a much better chance of being posted!

Ty Groshans

Ty Groshans Joins American Angus Association Commercial Programs Department

Ty Groshans, a Colorado native, has been named assistant director of commercial programs for the American Angus Association, with headquarters in Saint Joseph, Mo. Groshans will earn a bachelor’s of science degree from Colorado State University this May, with dual majors in Animal Science and Agriculture Business. He begins his position May 23.

“We are excited for Ty to join the Angus team,” says Jim Shirley, vice president of industry relations and director of commercial programs for the American Angus Association. “He will do a great job of interacting with producers to promote ways that our members can work with their commercial bull buyers to enhance profitability in the cattle business.”

For more information contact Shelia Stannard.

Ag Group

Something’s Brewing In Milwaukee

Chuck Zimmerman

I’ve mentioned it before but it’s getting nearer. It’s the Agricultural Media Summit. AgriMarketing Pros will be blogging it’s way through the meeting so if you can’t make it just keep an eye on us for all the action from one of the premier meeting in the agricultural communications world. Go here to register: AMS Registration

Ag Media Summit Logo

Mark your calendars now to “Come see what’s brewin’ in ag media at AMS” in Milwaukee.

Agricultural Media Summit
July 31 to August 3, 2005
Milwaukee Hilton City Center
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Mission of the Agricultural Media Summit

The AMS mission establishes four specific elements:
1. To provide professional development and educations opportunities for all of our members.
2. To provide networking opportunities for members of AAEA, LPC and ABM and other organizations in the ag industry.
3. To promote, support and enhance the the viability of ag media as an effective and efficient communications medium.
4. To showcase the ag media industry through seminars and trade shows.

If you’d like to exhibit keep the May 13 early exhibitor deadline in mind.

Ag Media Summit

Jerry Gets The Desert Scene

Chuck Zimmerman

I’ve been to several trade shows this year and until this week only received 1 notice about who won something given away at a trade show booth. I think it’s a nice follow-up touch and for that reason worth posting here. This one was an email message from Grant Heilman Photography.

Heilman Photography Logo

Dear Chuck ,

We just wanted to drop you a line expressing our gratitude for stopping by our booth at this year’s NAMA conference in Phoenix. Hopefully, you got a little taste of the big happenings here at Grant Heilman Photography. Our new collections will undoubtedly be able to fill more of your image needs.

As promised, we do have a winner for our “blazin’ ” giveaway. Kathy Kavanaugh of McCormick Company was our gracious puller for the giveaway and she plucked none other then, Jerry Johnson of Kent Feeds, Inc., Iowa. Jerry will be sent the framed and matted desert scene print shortly!

Again, thank you very much for your stopping by and for your participation in the Agri-Marketing conference. Please do not hesitate to take full advantage of all of our services including free photo researching, a 60,000-image website for viewing, and our new collections of lifestyles and travel photography. Call or email us and tell us what you need! Don’t forget to keep dropping by our website for newly added imagery.


Your friends at…

Grant Heilman Photography, Inc.

Thank you friends and congratulations Jerry!

NAMA, Public Relations

Tipping Humans Fun For Bovines

Chuck Zimmerman

You remember when I wondered what the Bovines Unite thing was all about? Well it’s here and it is the Maryland Lottery.

MD Lottery Bovine Bucks

From today’s post on their bovine blog:

The bovine revolution has begun

In case you humans missed it, COWS RULE!

That’s right. C-Day was an udder success. The bipeds never saw it coming. Who knew human-tipping could be so much fun?!?! The look on that frat-human’s face when he realized what happened was priceless.

Between all of the herds, I think we managed to tip about 30 humans last night. I saw some of the news through the farmhouse window and the humans are totally FREAKING OUT! Georgia said they even made a website about it. Gonna have to check it out later.

Blogging, Public Relations


Chuck Zimmerman

I didn’t know there was such a thing as a post-patent company until now. However, I’m sure Jeff will do a good job on the board for Jack!

UPI Logo

Jeff Pritchard Elected to ARA Board

UPI Leader is First Post-Patent Company Representative on Board

TRENTON, N.J. – Jeffrey S. Pritchard, vice president and general manager of United Phosphorus, Inc. (UPI), a leading manufacturer and supplier of post-patent crop protection technologies, has been elected to the board of directors of the Agricultural Retailer’s Association (ARA). Pritchard is one of four new directors.

“It is very important for the board to have input from all areas and types of agricultural production in the United States,” says Jack Eberspacher, ARA president and CEO. “Jeff is a new and enthusiastic member of the ARA board, and we’re excited to add his crop protection expertise to our group.

Visit the new United Phosphorous, Inc. website for more information.


10 Percent of Small Businesses Plan To Blog

Chuck Zimmerman

An interesting survey was conducted by Harris Interactive for Hewlett-Packard (HP) that says that 10 percent of small business owners have included blogs in their business plan. Very interesting. There’s a lot more information in this report.

For example, it says that 81 percent plan to increase technology spending in a variety of ways that includes websites, blogs, online services and 68 percent say they plan to adopt additional technology products in the coming year.

You can see the full survey, news releases and a summary report here: HP Small Business Survey

One of the most interesting things to yours truly was seeing that HP had an “audio news release” produced as part of the public relations work for this project. If HP is doing it you might want to consider it as well. Talking News Releases are what we call them. They’re a specialty service of ZimmComm, owners of AgriMarketing Pros. Sorry for the shameless self-promotion but I couldn’t resist.

Blogging, Public Relations, Talking News Release

Catching Up With Osborn & Barr

Chuck Zimmerman

Whew! Has the HR Department been busy in Clayton, MO or what? I’ve got to call this “catching up” because Tammy Donelson was kind enough to share these recent promotions and hires with me which I haven’t had from Osborn & Barr before. Like I said in a previous post, business is good! I count 10 promotions and 5 hires in the list she sent me. So you’ll have to go here for the full listing: Osborn & Barr Hires & Promotions

Congratulations to Joe Osborn and Steve Barr for finding such great talent.

Osborn & Barr Logo

For more information contact Tammy Donelson.


NAMA New Year Brings New Leaders

Chuck Zimmerman

NAMA has announced a new slate of leaders for its new year which began May 1. Although I’m only posting the Executive Committee here you can find the full list in the latest issue of the National NAMA E-News.


If you’re interested in a leadership position NAMA Executive Director Eldon White says to contact him.

Executive Committee

Tom Smull
Associations, Inc.
(515) 280-7234

President Elect
Stephanie Gable
Bayer Crop Protection
(919) 549-2047

Patty Travis
(317) 564-2008

Vice President
Ken Anderson
David & Associates
(402) 438-4034

Vice President
Susie Decker
Farm Progress Companies
(319) 377-3080

Vice President
Carol Anderson
Eidson & Partners
(816) 474-0747

Vice President
Monte Reese
Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion & Research Board
(303) 220-9890

Vice President
Kyle Bauer
KFRM Radio
(785) 632-5661

Vice President
Vicki Henrickson
McCormick Company
(563) 386-4921


New Account Supervisor For Pfizer Animal Health At Rhea & Kaiser

Chuck Zimmerman

It sure seems like the season for new staff. I think it’s a sign that business is good! If you can’t find a job in agricultural marketing give me a call or check in with NAMA because there’s a lot of them listed in the NAMA Job Network. Congratulations to Keena Lykins.


Keena Lykins

NAPERVILLE, Ill. – April 4, 2005 – Rhea & Kaiser Marketing Communications announced today the addition of Keena Lykins as account supervisor, public relations, working with the Pfizer Animal Health, Companion Animal Division.

Lykins has more than seven years of agency and public relations experience. Her most recent assignment was with KDL Communications in Lewisburg, Ohio, where she served as a consultant to several clients. Prior to KDL Communications, Lykins was an account supervisor for Brighton USA in St. Louis and Charlotte, N.C., where she developed and managed public relations programs for BASF Agricultural Products. She also served as an account supervisor for Price/McNabb Focused Communications, Charlotte, and Fleishman-Hillard, International Communications, Kansas City.

For more information contact Joshua Taustein.